Why kids have trouble following a routine or schedule

ByGretchen Vierstra, MA

Kids’ days are full of routines. But for many, following a routine or schedule is difficult. Sticking to a routine or schedule involves many skills — it’s harder than it seems.

There are lots of reasons kids don’t stick to daily routines and schedules. Often, it’s a once-in-a-while thing that’s not an issue. Kids get sidetracked, are preoccupied, or just don’t feel like doing it.

For some kids, though, not following routines is a regular problem. Trouble with organization, keeping track of time, and paying attention are a few reasons kids struggle with routines. These skills are part of a larger group of thinking skills known as

Dive deeper

Tell us what interests you


About the author

About the author

Gretchen Vierstra, MA is the managing editor at Understood and co-host of the “In It” podcast. She’s a former educator with experience teaching and designing programs in schools, organizations, and online learning spaces.

Reviewed by

Reviewed by

Ellen Braaten, PhD is the director of LEAP at Massachusetts General Hospital.